Gov. Edwards attends groundbreaking for new BioLab facility
WESTLAKE, La. (KPLC) - Gov. John Bel Edwards attended a groundbreaking ceremony for KIK Consumer Product’s BioLab Division in Westlake Wednesday afternoon.
BioLab caught fire and was damaged by Hurricane Laura, but the company has made headway for a new facility. It was time to turn over some new dirt, as Governor John Bel Edwards helped BioLab break ground to rebuild.
“It is exciting cause this is another visible, tangible sign of progress on the road to recovery. And to have BioLab, KIK [Consumer Products], come back and rebuild here with a $170 million minimum investment with a plan to restore every single job that was here before the fire - that’s just exciting to me,” Edwards said.
Plant manager Donald Brunette said he’s excited this rebuild will bring 82 direct jobs and 231 indirect jobs back to Southwest Louisiana - a needed economic boost after this past year.
“You know, we’re going to build ‘her’ with more capacity. We’re going to bring jobs back,” Brunette said. “It’s been very personal for me, coming out of what happened at this facility, to be in a spot where we’re actually at a groundbreaking event.”
Hurricane Laura had a direct impact on the chlorine shortage across the county when it hit BioLab as the company manufactures pool supplies.
The new facility will produce trichloroisocyanuric (TCCA), a chlorine-based sanitizer. With over 10 million residential pools across America, these products are needed for clean and safe swimming.
“50% of all the chlorine and shock products in the United States will be coming from ingredients that are made right here. And so, it’s a big economic impact to the county, but it’s also a safety factor,” Edwards said.
You can find the governor’s visit to the Port Wonder groundbreaking HERE.
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